Photography Homework & iPhone Apps Recap


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Yesterday I was reading Ashley’s photography post about lighting and she gave us homework.  Darn her.

But it was fun homework.  Or you may not really think this is fun because I am about to make you want to toss this salad out the window with all the salad pictures to follow.

I am  “turning in my homework” by showing how not moving the food at all, just moving myself, impacts lighting which makes such a huge difference in photos.

Here we go…

In the first two photos I have lighting coming in from two sources: in front of me and behind me, i.e. 12 o’clock lighting, and 6 o’clock lighting, or front lit and back lit.

Overhead shot, front lit + back lit

Overhead of salad on plate with fork

Eye-level shot, front lit + back lit

Side of salad on plate

Then I walked around the other side of my counter top (so the light is still front lit and back lit, at 12 o’clock lighting, and 6 o’clock lighting, but I moved.

These next two pictures are much more yellow than the first two which are more “neutral” or white.

Overhead ish shot, front lit + back lit

Salad on plate with fork

Eye-level ish shot, front lit + back lit

Eye level of salad on plate with fork

Then I shot from what would be 3 and 9 o’clock lighting. Also shot vertically rather than horizontally.

Close up of salad on plate with vegetables

And then I kept walking and taking pictures of the same food from different angles and spots:

Look at how dark this shot is

Mixed salad on plate with fork

And I can make the same food look differently by shooting vertically

Salad close up on white plate with fork

Or by cropping my shot differently while taking the picture (I didn’t edit/crop/alter any of these photos in iPhoto or Photoshop in any way for my homework)

Overhead of Salad

Salad with mixed vegetables on white plate

And by playing with where the fork appears in the shot by moving myself and where I shot from

Salad with mixed vegetables on white plate with fork

Overhead and close up of salad

Angled view of salad on plate

Salad on white plate with vegetables

So before you all want to puke with green salad photo overkill, I’ll stop.

Moral of the story and the lessons I learned (not just today but in nearly 2 years of blogging and taking pictures) are that:

Lighting matters (front lit, back lit, lighting sources, etc.)  Please see Amanda’s recent and wonderful post on “o’clock lighting

Angles matter (overhead, eye level, etc.)

Cropping matters (how close you are to the food, how much background you get in, etc.)

Hope my homework is ok, Teacher Ashley.

After all that salad it’s time for something sweeter like a…

Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cake on plate with fork

Or mini-ish Blueberry Streussel Muffins (Vegan, GF, one-bowl, no mixer required).

One Blueberry Streusel Muffin on plate

I mentioned how much I like mini things a couple days ago.

From my last post about getting an iPhone, thanks for filling me in on your favorite apps, and for sharing your iPhone tips and tricks.

Please check the comments but so far here were some of the highlights from the apps you like and all of these are free:

Runkeeper (for plotting your runs with GPS)


Photoshop Express (or Hipstamatic was mentioned a few times but I only found this one for a small fee)


Google Reader



…And more here.

It’s been so much fun playing with my new phone and downloading useful apps.  Keep the suggestions coming!

And to everyone who asked:

Yes, I love it way more than Blackberry.  Blows Blackberry away.

Yes, I am adapting to the touchscreen and it’s not seeming to be that big of a deal.

Make sure to enjoy some chocolate this weekend, too.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (no-bake, GF, one bowl, freezer friendly recipe)

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs in white dish


1. Best thing you’ve ate or done so far this weekend?

Playing with my iPhone and customizing it, downloading apps, and learning it.

2. Photography.  Do you see the differences in the pictures with the lighting? Or do you think angle of shot, i.e. overhead or eyelevel, or cropping the shot in/out makes more of a difference than lighting?For me, they are all important.  But I think that if your lighting is great, then whatever else you do just looks even better.

For example, if you’re at that “perfect” eye level spot, but your lighting is crap, your photo just isn’t going to live up.

Or you can have a great macro shot all lined up, but if your lighting isn’t right, the shot suffers.

Then again, I just recently got my DSLR

Here was a lens review post I did

And here was info about my old Point & Shoot

3. What are your photography tips and tricks?  What has helped you to take better photos?

I am clearly not an “expert” but I am trying to learn and teach myself things.  I read everything I can get my hands on and take tons of pictures, and learn by trial and error.

I have contemplated taking classes, too, but am on the fence about that.

I also have about 50 links, not exaggerating, of great photography posts about shooting tips, tricks, camera info & settings, etc that I have compiled in my email folders.  It would be kind of a PITA to post it, but I would be willing to if there is interest. Let me know.


Have a great weekend!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I have a Canon Rebel DSLR that I’ve had for years. I love constantly playing around with variables for my pictures. I also have Photoshop somewhere…need to look on my external harddrive to see if I can find it.